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Filing for divorce online best for those with few assets

Residents of the greater Houston area can do just about anything online these days: pay bills, support charitable causes, fall in love, and now, get divorced. Less than a year ago, the Texas Supreme Court allowed spouses in the state to complete some basic divorce forms via the internet. This alternative was originally intended to help low-income residents or those with no children and few assets. However, some Texans are taking advantage of this increased accessibility to hide assets from their spouses.

In all marital breakups, but especially in cases of high asset divorce, assets are of paramount importance. Texas is a community property state, wherein property goes to each spouse in a manner described as "just and right." As might be expected, though, many divorces feature husbands and wives whose definitions of just and right vary considerably. Divorces requiring complex financial litigation, such as cases in which one or both parties owns a business, generally need extensive legal and financial oversight to ensure a fair distribution of assets. Unfortunately, filing for divorce online leaves little room for the guidance needed in such cases.

Since assets are a main focus in high asset divorces, it is important to ensure the other spouse fully discloses all assets and income. Those who file online in Texas can potentially avoid full disclosure by simply lying or omitting information on the forms. The forms are often accepted as they are written, which seems like a helpful trait for those seeking a quick divorce. However, incorrect or deceitful information can translate into an appeal later on, making the entire process pricier than it has to be.

Spouses with a lot at stake in a divorce can consider the divorce itself an investment. By investing in sound, up-to-date legal advice from a trained professional, spouses can avoid the high cost and hassle of having to return to court down the road.

Source: KFDA, "Filing for divorce online," Jessica Abuchaibe, April 1, 2013

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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